New twists appear in relation to former Cadets Director George Hopkins

 

Documents obtained by 69 News appear to show former Youth Education in the Arts CEO and Allentown Cadets Director George Hopkins instructed a staff member to break the law.

In a 2016 email a Cadets employee who handled volunteer background checks tells Hopkins that because they have members under 17, background checks must be done to comply with the law.

The employee tells Hopkins:

"I don't want to see the company held responsible for not doing the required checks. However, if you want to waive the checks for the rest of the season, that's your decision, and I'll stop requiring people to do them."

Hopkins replies:

"I'm waiving -- we are depleted and I need people "

That former employee says she is not sure how many, but some of the 2016 volunteers did not have the legally required background checks.

"I find it inappropriate for staff members to decide to waive a policy that is in line with supporting the health and well-being of participants in the program," said Doug Rutherford, new board chairman of YEA!

YEA! believes the email to be authentic and says it will be a part of the investigation into the organization, Hopkins, and claims by roughly a dozen women that Hopkins allegedly sexually harassed or assaulted them. The investigation is being conducted by a Chicago law firm.

Through a former attorney, Hopkins has denied those allegations.

Rutherford says the board has consulted with an attorney and has put Hopkins on notice that instead of resigning he has been fired with cause.

"It certainly means there is no severance or any other benefits that come with his departure from YEA!" Rutherford said.

A "hotline is being made available so that, if there are any other victims out there, they can come forward and tell their story," Rutherford said.

That number is 312-786-6540.